Champions League

Hiddink: It's still 50-50

John Obi Mikel (AFP)
John Obi Mikel (AFP)

Cape Town - Chelsea manager Guus Hiddink believes that their Champions League Round of 16 tie with Paris Saint-Germain is still evenly poised despite losing 2-1 on Tuesday.

The French side struck first at Parc des Princes through Zlatan Ibrahimovic late in the first half, but the Blues went in level at halftime when John Obi Mikel popped up with an equaliser (and potentially crucial away goal) just before the break.

Edinson Cavani was introduced as a substitute in the second-half and smashed home the winner in the 78th minute, giving the Parisians the aggregate lead ahead of the second leg at Stamford Bridge three weeks later.

"I think it's still 50-50," Hiddink said after the game. "Of course a defeat is never a good or a nice feeling but you have to consider it's a two-legged game. It's not a dramatic loss.

"Losing 2-1, we are still in the race. Scoring away is always good and we emphasise that. We had good, tactical defensive organisation. On top of that we were dangerous but we were not lethal with the four or five counters we had.

"Bearing in mind we were playing a very good, strong team the performance of our players was tactically very good. I repeat we could have been more lethal on the counter.

"We were a little bit nervous in the first 10 minutes. After that we started playing and got some chances and were a little bit unlucky with our final ball.

"We had possibilities before the equaliser. We had one or two chances to hurt them and they got a little bit unstable by the way we played.

"The players did well, and not just the four defenders. We also had midfielders who did good defensive work.

"We had to reshuffle. Two weeks ago we played with [Kurt] Zouma and [John] Terry, meaning also the full-backs had different positions. I'm happy with all their performances."

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